Bob Several, longtime journalist at Independent, diesRobert Several, 75, who worked at The Independent newspaper in Livermore from the day it opened, died Sept. 21 of pancreatic cancer at the VA Hospital in Martinez.
Fought for Pleasanton Ridge, urban growth boundaries
He was born in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., and moved with his parents and his younger brother Michael to Southern California. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in history and served in the U.S. Army. He worked for a daily newspaper for only a few months before signing on with The Independent in time to help put out its first issue.
"Behind his typewriter and then his computer, he was a warrior, passionately fighting for social justice and the environment," said Independent publisher Joan Seppala. "In his 49 years with the paper, he helped to transform the Valley into a better place to live."
Mr. Several worked to curb development, such as the Save All Valley Environment Initiative in 1972. He also supported initiatives to preserve Pleasanton Ridge in 1993, as well as the Sunol Ridge, and to establish the urban growth boundaries in Pleasanton, Livermore and Alameda County.
He also wrote to support fair housing legislation in Livermore and affordable housing, plus was an advocate for Tri-Valley Haven and its work to halt domestic violence. He encouraged reaching out to members of society who might be overlooked, such as the homeless, farm workers and those with disabilities, and has been described as "making a big difference in what happened in our communities."
His editorials were described as "hopeful and inspirational," and co-workers praised him for his quiet and calm demeanor, even under deadline pressure.
Mr. Several was also an Oakland A's fan, and enjoyed painting and photography.
He is survived by his son Aaron Several and grandson Dylan of San Leandro; his son Jacob Several and granddaughter Grace of Berkeley; his mother Beatrice; his brother Michael; and his cat Shalom.
Services will be private, but there will be a public memorial commemoration at The Independent at a later date.